55% of consumers will abandon an online purchase if they can't find a quick answer to a question according to Forrester research (see link here).

This presents a big challenge for organisations trying to engage customers and make their experience not only more efficient, but simpler and better.

Every day lots of us walk around with a powerful computer in our pockets that allows us to connect instantaneously with whomever we choose in our personal and business lives.  If, according to The Economist, 80% of us will own a smartphone by 2020, complexity (and in turn customer frustration) is only going to get worse unless organisations address this head-on.

Customer journeys are becoming longer and more complex and the challenge for organisations is to make the whole journey faster and simpler.  Knowing where to invest is key.  Lots of organisations are investing in making the ‘front door’ to their business much faster but everything slows as soon as you get inside.

I was recently away on a ski-ing trip and was amazed at how much things had changed in the eight years since my last visit.  No longer did I have to struggle with the paper tickets as I was presented with a chipped lift pass that I could put in my pocket - the gate would automatically sense it and let me through to make my way up the mountain.  However, what the technology didn’t take account of was the humans that weren’t interested in the efficiencies this technology provided. No sooner had my fellow skiers passed through the gate did they decided to stop and check where friends and family members were to ensure they could go on the lift together. As well as creating a bottleneck for all of us coming behind them, it completely confused the technology as those that had ‘beeped’ through already but unable to pass the gate, were quickly stopped in their tracks.  The gate assumed that we were trying to pass twice thereby halting us in our journey.

This made me think about how many organisations try to allow for speedy entry for customers into their business through whatever means seems to work best – it may be an app, self-service or social channels.  But essentially it’s a waste of time and investment putting in a speedy front door if the customer is then faced with a confused maze or route that quickly puts the brakes on their interaction.

Many organisations are still in digital transition and CCA are working to support businesses to make the right decisions about their end-to-end offering.  In particular, our Industry Council Thought Leadership Forum is focusing on future developments in this area.  It’s an ongoing piece and we are all trying to get there faster…. slowly!